Six-figure council grant to fund affordable homes

PUBLISHED: 06:51 07 October 2018

Archant

More than £650,000 could be given by North Somerset Council to increase the amount of affordable housing available in the district.

The authority is considering handing over a six-figure grant to increase the provision in a new development in Yatton.

It believes a failure to hand over the money would see the properties put on the open market instead.

Outline planning permission for an extra care facility at North End was agreed in July 2017, with more detailed plans getting the green light this summer.

Within the 200-home scheme put forward by Bloor Homes is room for both a school and a care facility and the council is planning to give a grant for the latter to increase its affordable housing efforts.

The initial plan was that the centre, which will be run by Housing and Care 21, would feature 60 two-bedroom properties, of which three quarters would be affordable rented or shared ownership homes.

But by investing £670,000 in a grant, North Somerset Council says the whole site could be delivered without any homes going on the open market.

In a decision notice, the council says: “Following further negotiations and consideration, it is proposed to bring the site forward to provide 100 per cent affordable housing by changing the 15 market sales to affordable units; providing an additional five shared ownership and 10 affordable rented homes and giving a revised mix of 30 affordable rented and 30 shared ownership extra care units.

“This will help better meet the needs of older people who have recourse to adult support and safeguarding services.”

Homes England, which is the primary source of funding for the project, has agreed to up its contribution to almost £2million, but requires the council to make up the outstanding costs.

The council believes without investing the alteration to the scheme would not be possible.

It said the risk of the project not going ahead is ‘low’ and Bloor would be liable to pay it and Homes England back in such a case.

It also believes the move would save the council £10,000 per resident per year based on a similar scheme previously carried out.

North Somerset Council aims to contribute 150 affordable homes every year.

The council last year also committed about £4million to open a new school at North End.

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